Frank Herbert'sis one of the best known pieces of fictional literature - beaten only by the bible and a few others. Millions of people have read it and even those who didn't at least know the name because they've seen the movie, they've just heard of it somewhere or they've played one of the computer games.
Dune 2 (and the identical Dune 2000) are the best known of those. And they're also said to be the better part of the 'series'. In many cases the second part of a series is better than its 'ancestor'. But is it really a series? Let's have a look on how these different games came into existance.
Virgin Interactive had bought the book's license. It gave the job to produce a game on this license to two teams: Westwood and Cryo. Cryo finished their version first. Westwood needed a bit more time, so they got the '2' behind the name.
So2 can't really be called a sequel to . Those were two completely different games developed at the same time! And while 2 was a lot more influential and successful, was much more true to the book.
In the distant future, mighty feudal families ("houses") rule the universe. The secret of space travel lies in the drug Melange, also known as Spice. With Spice, navigators get the ability to fold space. Owning it is crucial! The problem is that it only grows on one single planet on the whole universe: Arrakis, sometimes also calledbecause it's a vast desert. The only native people who live there are the Fremen who live in tribes.
But there are also 'foreigners' on. The Emporer Shaddam IV has given the 'license' to mine Spice to the House Atreides now after the Atreides' arch enemies, the Harkonnen, had had it for a long time.
The player takes the role of Paul Atreides, Duke Leto Atreides' son. The Atreides have just arrived on, and the Harkonnens don't seem to be willing to give up without fighting for it. It's Paul's job to establish contact to the Fremens, convince them to work for the Atreides and eventually drive the Harkonnen's off .
The game begins in Adventure style. You walk around, talk to people, discover several locations and so on. But once you have some Fremen troops under your command, the strategic component of the game begins. You can order them what to work with, where to go, which equipment to use. But you won't have all the options if you don't have some 'VIPs' being on your side. So the Adventure part also continues in the background.
The action is divided into days, but you don't need any sleep. The Emporer expects constant spice shipments though. And if you can't fulfill his demands, he'll send his elite troops: the Sardaukar. Everything's in real time, so mining spice, moving armies and traveling all take time.
During the game, you'll meet a lot of different and interesting characters. Some are more helpful, some less. But they all help to fully unfold the plot! Everything's in there: a conspiracy, honour and friendship, family trouble, politics and even a love story. Yes, that's right:is one of the very few games to include something like that!
Just as important is the gameplay. And this is very well thought out! Both the Adventure and the strategic part are very well done. And the strategic part is even real strategy and not a carmouflaged action game like2. The only downpoint is that it's not too replayable. But that's the price of a gripping storyline...